As the reality of our planet’s changing climate is becoming more and more apparent, being committed to sustainability has become a business imperative in the eyes of consumers. According to a 2018 Nielsen study, 81% of survey respondents felt strongly that companies should help improve the environment. It’s clear that consumers in markets, big and small, are becoming increasingly motivated to be more environmentally friendly and are making this well-known through the products that they buy.
To figure out why consumers feel so strongly about environmental responsibility, it’s important to understand the driving factors behind their choices. A growing trend, especially among Millennials and Gen Zers, is a zero-waste lifestyle. Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean - currently, only 9% of plastic in the world actually gets recycled! If this sounds like a huge undertaking to you, you’re not alone. The good news is that one of the guiding philosophies of the zero-waste lifestyle is that we don’t need a few people exercising zero-waste perfectly, we need a planet of people exercising it imperfectly.
This means making simple changes. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to cut promotional products out of your marketing strategy; in fact, many of these changes include products that are mainstays in the promo world. For example, you’ve probably seen news articles about straw bans or $0.10 taxes on plastic bags at grocery stores. People looking to make a difference, however small, want to replace their single-use plastics like grocery bags, straws, and lunch baggies with items that can be used and reused. That means that people are purchasing more products like reusable tote bags and silicone straws, or washable lunch containers and stainless steel water bottles.
As citizens of our planet Earth, it is everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to keep our home beautiful and thriving. Luckily, so many popular promotional products are aligned with the zero-waste trend by being reusable in all kinds of different applications. Even small changes - like bringing your custom imprinted straw to lunch and refusing the single-use plastic one - can make a big difference.